Internal market orientation and market‐oriented behaviours

Ian N. Lings (School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Gordon E. Greenley (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Publication date: 22 June 2010



The purpose of this empirical paper is to investigate internal marketing from a behavioural perspective. The impact of internal marketing behaviours, operationalised as an internal market orientation (IMO), on employees' marketing and other in‐role behaviours (IRB) were examined.


Survey data measuring IMO, market orientation and a range of constructs relevant to the nomological network in which they are embedded were collected from the UK retail managers. These were tested to establish their psychometric properties and the conceptual model was analysed using structural equations modelling, employing a partial least squares methodology.


IMO has positive consequences for employees' market‐oriented and other IRB. These, in turn, influence marketing success.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides empirical support for the long‐held assumption that internal and external marketing are related and that organisations should balance their external focus with some attention to employees. Future research could measure the attitudes and behaviours of managers, employees and customers directly and explore the relationships between them.

Practical implications

Firm must ensure that they do not put the needs of their employees second to those of managers and shareholders; managers must develop their listening skills and organisations must become more responsive to the needs of their employees.


The paper contributes to the scarce body of empirical support for the role of internal marketing in services organisations. For researchers, this paper legitimises the study of internal marketing as a route to external market success; for managers, the study provides quantifiable evidence that focusing on employees' wants and needs impacts their behaviours towards the market.



Lings, I.N. and Greenley, G.E. (2010), "Internal market orientation and market‐oriented behaviours", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 321-343.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.